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  1. #1
    Super Member JDgreen227's Avatar
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    Nov 2003
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    7,742
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    Central Michigan
    Tractor
    4210 MFWD Ehydro--'89 JD 318

    Default Windshield washer antifreeze tastes terrible!!!

    I want to relate my experience yesterday in the hopes it may prevent something identical happening to another member: I was in my barn and draining the washer fluid summer mix from the tank of my GMC and planning to replace it with full strength winter mix. That bottle was on a shelf about 7 feet up and rather than doing the smart thing and using a stepstool to reach it, I used a bent wire rod to pull it off the shelf and I had planned to catch it, but was too slow and the plastic bottle hit the workbench top hard, the cap popped off, and I got a faceful of the stuff and some splashed into my mouth. The alcohol began burning my eyes, I immediate spat out the fluid and ran a few feet to the clean water stash I keep near every workbench, several clear plastic bottles with a wide mouth top. Emptied two entire bottles over my face, then kept rinsing my mouth until nearly 2 gallons of fresh water had been used. Yet I could still taste the bitter antifreeze hours later. Had I not had the water supply there, I would have had to to run 450 feet to the outside faucet to get rinse water.

    For many years now I have kept fresh water stored in every workshop where I might have to deal with a chemical/cleaner spill accident as I just described. Hopefully my story might keep one of you from being careless in reaching, and/or encourage you to keep a supply of rinse water handy.
    Rather than worry about the things you want but don't have, be grateful for the things you don't want and don't have.

    I didn't plan to do much of anything today, but by noon I was almost half done.

  2. #2
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    2,517
    Location
    NE Oklahoma
    Tractor
    MF 230 and Mitsubishi D2000

    Default Re: Windshield washer antifreeze tastes terrible!!!

    Wow, glad you were prepared and are all right. Random thought, never heard of it before, but I wonder if they put an embittering agent in washer fluid like they do in coolant. From what you say it sounds like it. Don't think I'm gonna do my own taste though lol.

    Ken
    Massey Ferguson 230
    Mitsubishi D2000

  3. #3
    Super Member JDgreen227's Avatar
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    Nov 2003
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    Central Michigan
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    4210 MFWD Ehydro--'89 JD 318

    Default Re: Windshield washer antifreeze tastes terrible!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by kensnelling View Post
    Wow, glad you were prepared and are all right. Random thought, never heard of it before, but I wonder if they put an embittering agent in washer fluid like they do in coolant. From what you say it sounds like it. Don't think I'm gonna do my own taste though lol.

    Ken
    After I had finished with the rinse, I went to the hose by the house and drank a large quantity of water, although I doubt if I swallowed more than a drop or two, there would have been some of the washer fluid absorbed by the mucous membranes in my mouth. As for the taste of coolant, I have read that much of that tastes sweet, which is why pet cats and dogs are so prone to drinking coolant. I have read that even one spoonful of radiator antifreeze is toxic enough to kill a small animal. We have cats, and one of our cars has a small coolant leak, and every time the car is moved off the driveway I dump a half gallon of water onto the leak to dilute it.
    Rather than worry about the things you want but don't have, be grateful for the things you don't want and don't have.

    I didn't plan to do much of anything today, but by noon I was almost half done.

  4. #4
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    2,517
    Location
    NE Oklahoma
    Tractor
    MF 230 and Mitsubishi D2000

    Default Re: Windshield washer antifreeze tastes terrible!!!

    The older (green) antifreezes did have a sweet taste, quite a few pets and pests did die from poisoning after drinking it. However, since the late 80's antifreeze sold in the US has had to have an embittering agent added to reduce (eliminate was the stated intent) the likelyhood of animals drinking coolant.

    Ken
    Massey Ferguson 230
    Mitsubishi D2000

  5. #5
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
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    7,410
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    Bismarck Arkansas
    Tractor
    2009 Kubota RTV 900, 2009 Kubota B26 TLB & 2010 model LS P7010

    Default Re: Windshield washer antifreeze tastes terrible!!!

    I think what you were tasting was the alcohol in the winter grade of washer fluid. Alcohol is bitter by nature. The last antifreeze I got into my mouth still tasted sweet and it wasnt from the 80's although I havent really tasted of any of the stuff I have in stock now.
    In the 80's they started making the non toxic stuff which may or may not be bitter. I dont use it so I wouldnt know.
    2010 LS P-7010C 20F/20R gear tractor & FEL, 2009 Kubota B 26 TLB, RTV 900 Kubota,17 foot Lund boat with 70HP motor, 2012-20 ft 12k GVW trailer, 2011- 52" Craftsman ZTR mower, 2013 Ferris Zero Turn, 3 weed whackers, pressure washer, leaf blowers, 7 foot bush hog, 8 foot landscape rake , 8 foot 3 PH disc, 2 row cultivator, 350 amp Miller AC/DC welding machine and all the tools needed to keep them all repaired and running.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,042
    Location
    Mass, Northshore, Merrimack Valley
    Tractor
    B6100DT

    Default Re: Windshield washer antifreeze tastes terrible!!!

    .


    I got brake fluid in my eye(s) once. Not fun. At least I didn't have to go as far as you.



    Check this link down near the bottom:

    McMaster-Carr



    .
    Dan C.
    B6100DT, FEL, BH

  7. #7
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
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    Central florida
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    ym1700, NH7610S, Ford 8N, 2N, NAA, 660, 850 x2, 541, 950, 941D, 951, 2000, 3000, 4000, 4600, 5000, 740, IH 'C' 'H', CUB, John Deere 'B', allis 'G', case VAC

    Default Re: Windshield washer antifreeze tastes terrible!!!

    i can tell you from working onlots of old machines.

    pretty much NO fluids from various cavities in machines taste good.


    glad you didn't swallow too much methanol. it causes blindness!

  8. #8
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    60
    Location
    Rocky Face,Ga.
    Tractor
    Kubota B2320

    Default Re: Windshield washer antifreeze tastes terrible!!!

    I did a little taste testing last night myself.Putting a lower radiator hose back on laying on my back looking up and the last little bit ran out of the hose and hit me in the nose and mouth at the same time.Lucky it was ninety % water.

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